A heart attack is a medical emergency in which the supply of blood to the heart becomes blocked, often as the result of a blood clot. Other term used for a heart attack include myocardial infarction, cardiac infarction and coronary thrombosis. An infarction is when the blood supply to an area is cut off and the tissue in that area dies.
A heart attack is often confused for a cardiac arrest. While they are both medical emergencies, a heart attack is the blockage of an artery leading to the heart and a cardiac arrest involves the heart stopping the pumping of blood around the body. An attack can lead to cardiac arrest a heart attack can lead to cardiac arrest. A heart attack happens when there is a sudden complete blockage of an artery that supply blood to an area of your heart.Your heart is a muscle, and it needs a good blood supply to keep it healthy.
- During a heart attack, the heart muscle loses blood supply and is damaged.
- Chest discomfort and pain are common symptom.The risk of a heart attack increases when a man is over 45 and a woman is over 55.
Symptoms of a Heart Attack
There are clear symptoms of a heart attack that require immediate medical attention. A feeling of pressure, tightness, pain, squeezing or aching in the chest or arms that spreads to the neck, jaw or back can be a sign that a person is having a heart attack. Changing position does not alleviate the pain of a heart attack and the pain a person feels is normally constant although it may sometime come and go.
Foods for a Healthy Heart
Many foods can help your heart function at its best. Some help lower your blood pressure and others keep your cholesterol in line and studies have shown that up to 70% of heart disease cases are preventable with right the food choices.
Salmon and other fatty fish such as sardines and mackerel are the superstars of heart healthy foods. That is because they contain copious amount of omega 3 fatty acids. Studies show them to lower the risk of arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) and atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries ) and decrease triglycerides. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish and preferably fatty fish at least twice a week.
Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol. “It acts as a sponge in the digestive tract and soaks up the cholesterol so it is eliminated from the body and not absorbed into the blood stream” says Lauren Graf, a registered dietician and co- director of the cardiac wellness program at Montefiore medical center in New York City.
Graf recommended avoiding instant oatmeal, which often contains sugar and opting instead for the old fashioned or even quick-cooking oats. Other whole grains such as bread, pasta and grits are also good for the heart as long as they still contain the entire grain.
Not just blueberries, but strawberries and other berries as well. According to a 2013 study, women aged 25 to 45 who ate more than three serving of blueberries and strawberries a week had a 32% lower risk of heart attack compared with those who ate less. The authors of the study attributed the benefits to compounds known as anthocyanins, flavonoids (which are antioxidants) that may decrease blood pressure and dilate blood vessels.
Soy products including tofu and soy milk, are a good way to add protein to your diet without unhealthy fats and cholesterol. Soy products contain high levels of polyunsaturated fats (good for your health), fiber, vitamins, and minerals soy may reduce blood pressure in people who eat a diet high in refined carbohydrates. Compared with milk or other proteins, soy protein can actually decrease LDL or bad cholesterol.
Potatoes can be good for your heart as long as they’re not deep fried, they are rich in potassium, which can help lower blood pressure and they are high in fiber, which can lower the risk for heart disease. They are definitely not a junk food or refined carbohydrate.
Tomatoes are high in heart healthy postassium plus they are a good source of the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid that may help get rid of bad cholesterol, keep blood vessels open and lower heart attack risk, and because they are low in calories and low in sugar they don’t detract from an already healthy diet.